Tag Archives: People are awfully nice to us

More Campbell pieces come home

Cov­er­age of the Selkirk auc­tion in the St. Louis Star Times, Feb­ru­ary 25, 1941. (Inci­den­tal­ly, that was Robert and Vir­gini­a’s 100th wed­ding anniversary.)

Before the Camp­bells’ house was turned into the Camp­bell House Muse­um, all the objects in the house (except for the estate jew­el­ry) were sold at an Ivey-Selkirk (then called “Ben J. Selkirk & Sons”) auc­tion. The muse­um foun­da­tion was able to pur­chase most of the Camp­bell pieces, but many objects were sold to pri­vate indi­vid­u­als. To the right is one of the many pages of the auc­tion’s news­pa­per cov­er­age in 1941.

For­tu­nate­ly, when peo­ple learn they have a piece that came from the Camp­bell auc­tion, they very often give it back to us, and this seems to hap­pen at least once a year. In Jan­u­ary 2012, these ster­ling gob­lets were returned by a local fam­i­ly.  Yes­ter­day, we received two beau­ti­ful pieces of china.

Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Andy and Jay going through the Selkirk’s auc­tion cat­a­log to find the descrip­tion of the plate and cup.

Jay Smith’s aunt gave him a cup and plate as a gift, and she told him it was from the Camp­bell auc­tion. Jay came through the house a few weeks ago on a tour, all the while look­ing for a piece that matched his cup or plate. He arrived short­ly after a tour start­ed, so he did­n’t get to see the Par­lor until the very end. As he walked through the house, he was begin­ning to doubt his aun­t’s sto­ry. Final­ly in the Par­lor, he saw a match­ing plate. His aunt was right!

We were delight­ed he offered to donate them to us. He stopped by yes­ter­day, and he brought the plate and cup. Though not a match­ing set, each one is marked with a blue crown sit­ting on top of a cap­i­tal “N.” The Selkirk auc­tion cat­a­log call the pieces “Capo di Monte Cups and Plates.” Over the years, Capo di Monte porce­lain has been man­u­fac­tured in Italy and Spain, and it is notable because of its intri­cate fig­urines. The style of the mark on these pieces indi­cates it was pro­duced in Naples, Italy between 1771 and 1834. Capo di Monte (now often spelled “Capodi­monte”) is still pro­duced by Majel­lo.

Here are more images:

The plate, and it mea­sures about 7–1/4″ across.

The plate’s mark: a faint blue crown on an “N.”

The cup. Note the intri­cate detail and tex­tured “wood” handle.

The gold dec­o­ra­tion on the inside of the cup.

Intern Amy and Andy dis­cussing the the cup while they researched the “Capo di Monte” stamp.

Next, we’ll acces­sion the pieces and you can read about that process here. After that’s done, we’ll put them on dis­play some­where in the Muse­um, prob­a­bly in the par­lor near the oth­er match­ing pieces. Be sure to come by to see them in their new (sort of) home!